8 May 2012

Kubuitsile wins Baobab Prize

LOBATSE - Local writer, Lauri Kubuitsile is the winner of the Baobab Prize through her short story entitled Lorato and her Wire Car and in the process pocketing US$800.
Kubuitsile's short story was adjudged the best piece of work from an array of entries from Africa for a work of fiction aimed at the readers aged between 8 and11 years.

The story Lorato and her Wire Car is about an innovative young Motswana girl who makes a special wire car with windows and fake leather seats and a bit too proud. She is cut down to size when her rival, Motshereganye comes up with a car with real working headlights. In the end she learns a lesson on pride and friendship.

Kubuitsile said in an interview that the story was motivated by her love for wire cars. "I have always been fascinated by the commitment of young children towards these cars," she said.

She said while in the past, almost every child in the village had the skills to make wire cars things have dramatically changed. Modern toys have now replaced wire cars.

Kubuitsile said by emerging as the winner, judges might have realised the potential in her writing. For her to win an international prize, reaffirms that she is on the right track she says adding that victory also gives her confidence to continue writing.

Kubuitsile said the prize will not only boost her recognition locally and internationally but will highlight the potential that the local writers have.

She described writing as a very brutal profession characterized by constant rejections from publishers that could be disparaging. "By winning, it tells me I'm doing something right," she said.

Kubuitsile, formerly a science teacher, has had much success with her writing.

She has seven published books including two from her Kate Gomolemo Detective series. Her latest is Murder for Profit published by Pentagon in 2008. Her stories have won numerous prizes: first prize in the BTA/AngloPlatinum Short Story Contest in 2007. Kubuitsile made a shortlist for the biennial Macmillan Writer's Prize with 'Mmele and the magic bones,' which was later, published by Pentagon and has been selected as a Standard 5 reader. She is also the winner of the 2007 Orange/Botswerere Award for creative writing.

The Baobab Prize is the first award in America designed to encourage African literature aimed at young readers.

It recognizes and rewards talent for Africans who write for children as well as encouraging African children to explore fiction that provides positive image of Africa.For his part, the Chairman of the Botswana Writer's Association, Mr Barolong Seboni said the prize is an honour not only for Kubuitsile but also for the country at large.
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Lauri Kubuitsile

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